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Special Report With Bret Baier

News/Business. Bret Baier. (2011) New.

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Boehner 36, U.s. 10, John Boehner 7, Us 7, Harry Reid 6, Washington 6, Texas 4, Bret 4, Mike Emanuel 4, Rogers 4, Nancy Pelosi 3, Jennifer 3, Steve Hayes 2, America 2, Afghanistan 2, S&p 2, Mitch Mcconnell 2, A.b. 2, Jasmine 2, Purina 2,
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  FOX News    Special Report With Bret Baier    News/Business. Bret  
   Baier.  (2011) New.  

    July 28, 2011
    3:00 - 4:00pm PDT  

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men to enjoy ♪ you can hang out with all the boys ♪ ymca ♪ it's fun to stay at the ymca ♪ >> good evening. i'm bret baier. this is a fox news alert the house of representatives is in a holding pattern right now regarding speaker john boehner's bill to cut spending and extend the country's debt limit. a. ♪ was supposed to happen this hour. this breaking development happens late in the day where the already heated rhetoric warmed up a little bit more. we have fox team coverage tonight. ed henry tells us about a possible option from the white house, but we begin with chief congressional correspondent mike emanuel on what's happening at this moment. mike? >> they're buying more time to make sure the republicans have the necessary votes, 216, to passion the boehner debt plan.
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much of the afternoon, the speaker and his leadership team have been pulling republican members in his ceremonial office just off the house floor to make the final push to vote to pass this bill. it's been an unpredictable day on capitol hill. >> let's pass this bill and end this crisis. >> the rallying cry from speaker john boehner on the day the house is due to vote on his debt plan, but when asked if he had the necessary votes boehner deferred to the republican whip who was cautious. >> we're moving in the right direction. you've always known, i don't talk about the vote. >> this conference has moved a great deal in a short amount of time. >> as republicans work to firm up support for the measure that would cut $917 billion while raising the debt ceiling in a two-step process, democratic leader nancy pelosi predicted the measure won't get help from house democrats. >> i'm not speaking for every member in my caucus, but i feel very confident they'll have 217 votes, whatever it is, they'll have to be republican votes.
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>> then off camera, pelosi was much more dramatic, telling reporters "what we're trying to do is save the world from the republican budget. we're trying to save life on this planet as we know it today." on the floor of the house during some of the debate, there was more drama for and against this debt package. >> ladies and gentlemen in this house have a duty to end this impasse. let's live up to that duty by voting down this partisan legislation. >> what we have before us in the house of representatives is the closest thing. it's the closest thing to a bipartisan agreement. >> as for concerns about lowering the nation's credit rating, boehner responded -- >> beyond my control. >> but to reiterate we are in a holding pattern. three republican aides tell fox news they intend to go forward with the boehner vote tonight, but let's be clear, they will not go forward until they're confident they have the votes.
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bret? >> bret: if the boehner bill gets through, and it was believed earlier in the day that it would, but now it's in this holding pattern looking for more votes, if it gets through, it heads over to the senate tonight? >> that is correct. we understand harry reid may do a procedural vote over 32 essentially signal at this senate is not going to support the vote, but we're understanding it will go to the senate tonight, probably take about an hour that go from the house to the senate should it pass. >> bret: okay. we'll follow every minute. mike, thank you. let's go across town where ed henry has new details on what might be emerging as a new compromise. good evening, ed. >> democratic officials say that president obama has been intensively working the phones. for the first time they're starting to see the outline of a potential compromise. they say that this would merge the boehner and reid plans essentially on three key points. they say a lot of overlap on the spending cuts, they see overlap that there would be a special committee of congress for more
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cuts down the road, the sticking point is a trigger mechanism to make sure the committee of congress follows through on more spending cuts and lives the debt ceiling for a long period that the president has called for. they seem to be making progress in private, but in public they're still deeply divided. the latest charge from the white house, speaker john boehner, the grinch who wants to steal christmas by forcing a replay of this debt ceiling debate at the end of the year. >> at a time when people don't want to worry about whether or not their interest rates are going to go up, and their credit card payments, especially as they're buying gifts for the holidays. i mean, if we care about the economy, how could that possibly be the answer? >> when jay carney was asked directly if the boehner bill is better than nothing making it through congress, he ducked. pressed on whether that means the president is willing to veto the boehner bill and let the country slip into default, carney turned it around on republicans. >> one of the things that's come out of the -- of the house conference is this desire to stand firm and stick the
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president with default, i think is one quote that came out of there, which is really incredibly juvenile. >> it does indeed does appear to be the game on both sides of the aisle, since there's no clear path to an endgame. >> it will be defeated. >> many acknowledge harry reid's own debt bill is not likely to get out of the senate. >> senate democrats are playing with power here. it's hard to conclude that they're doing it for any other reason than politics. >> that's why party leaders are quietly working on a plan c as a last-ditch effort to avert a market meltdown. >> behind the scenes there are discussions underway to find a way forward, to how would you harmonize what leader reid has come up and speaker boehner has come up with. >> senior democratic officials say that they believe they're getting a little bit of progress in conversations with senate republicans who might be willing to moderate the two bills and
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come up with this compromise to move forward, but then that would have to -- eventually that compromise, go back to the house. as you can tell from mike emanuel, they're having problems get anything through right now. one senior aide told me if this compromise gets through the senate, there's no way there will be a lot of house republican votes. the only way it would pass would be if nancy pelosi could deliver democratic votes. even more chaos, bret. >> ed, thank you. the dow lost sky 1/2, the s&p dropped 4, the nasdaq gained 1 1/2. a more complete look later. in other economic news, the number of people seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 24,000 last week to 398,000, the lowest count in 16 weeks, but the unemployment rate stands at 9.2%, and underemployment around 18%. pending home sales were up 2.4% in june, the second straight increase, and fixed mortgage rates are up .03 of a percentage point this week to
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4.55%. most of the republicans running for president, or considering it are opposing house speaker boehner's attempt to raise the debt limit. chief political correspondent karl cameron goes down the press list. >> minnesota congresswoman michele bachmann dismissed the boehner plan to raise the national debt limit beyond $14.3 trillion and vowed to lead the opposition against any increase in federal borrowing. >> i can't support any plan that begins with the assumption that we have to raise the debt limit, and yet doesn't offer a fundamental restructuring of government spending habits. i won't do it. >> in texas, this week, governor rick perry, expected to join the presidential race within a month, suggested he too is prepared for a default, downplaying the potential disaster both parties in d.c. predict. >> this threat that somehow or another the world is going to come to an end, the threat of -- we're not going to be able to pay our bills is a bit of a stretch. most americans know this --
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we've spent too much money. we've gotten our house in bad shape. >> fellow texan ron paul, who's railed against the debt since long before his 2008 white house bid, has promised a vote against the debt hike, arguing the boehner plan doesn't truly cut spending. >> both sides are failing to understand that the country is bankrupt, there will be a default. the only debate that is going on is how you default. i vote for, you know, stopping the spending. >> former minnesota governor tim pawlenty says he won't support the boehner plan, but speaks the speaker's efforts. mitt romney applauds boehner's leadership, but refuses to take a position on the boehner bill. the only gop white house hopeful backing the debt increase is former utah governor jon huntsman, who's called the boehner bill a good step. >> the boehner plan at least begins that process of cutting, that i think is terribly important. the president has shown no leadership. he doesn't have a plan on the table. my opponents in this race
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haven't even come up with what they support. >> but all the republican presidential candidates do support spending cuts and oppose tax hikes. sarah palin calls the boehner bill a gop retreat while she accuses the president of trying to scare voters into accepting more government spending, but she's not actually above political threats herself and she warned republicans on facebook today that everyone she talks believes in contested primaries. she sides with tea partiers against a debt hike and will join a tea party rally in iowa around labor day weekend, right about the time she says she'll make a final decision on whether she's running or not. bret? >> bret: makes you go hmm. carl, thank you. a spokesperson for new jersey governor chris christie says the governor expects to be discharged from the hospital this evening. he underwent went tests after what's described as an asthma attack on the way to a bill signing. thetivess all came back normal and he was in charge and at work in his hospital room. republican presidential candidate herman cain has apologized to muslim leaders for
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comments on the campaign trial. cain said communities have a right to ban islamic mosques and that he would not want his administration to include a muslim bent on killing americans. wednesday cain met with muslim leaders in virginia and issued an apology. later in the grapevine, why the globe is not warming as much as some people might have thought it was. and we'll continue to keep an eye on the house. you're looking live. that's the cannon house office building, the cannon rotunda. you see all those cameras around there? they're packed, because everyone is waiting to see what happens on this delayed speaker boehner bill. we're following every minute. keep the here. naturals from delicious, real ingredients with no artificial flavors or preservatives. naturals from purina cat chow. share a better life.
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[ blower whirring ] sometimes it pays to switch things up. my - what, my hair? no. car insurance. i switched to progressive and they gave me discounts for the time i spent with my old company. saved a bunch. that's a reason to switch. big savings -- it's a good look for you. [ blower whirring ] [blower stops] the safety was off. out there with a better way. now, that's progressive. live at capitol hill, the number of congressmen meeting behind closed doors, many getting whipped by their leadership to vote on this boehner bill. another story. an army soldier who says he was
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planning another attack on fort hood is in custody in texas, and it appears local law enforcement may have averted a second disaster on the base. national security correspondent jennifer griffin has details. good evening, jennifer. >> good evening, bret. private first class naser abdo had gone awol, applied for and received conscientious objector status, but that status was put on hold when the army found child pornography on his government computer. he was arrested after trying to buy guns and gunpowder from guns galore. according to army sources, abdo bought three boxes of 12-gauge ammunition, a magazine for a springfield nine-millimeter gun, and six canisters of smokeless gunpowder. the gun store owner who tipped the police said he became suspicion when abdo asked how to
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use smokeless gunpowder. >> the first red flag was the question about the powder. i mean, if you don't know what it is, why are you buying so much? >> video courtesies of middle east media research institute shows an interview abdo gave to al jazeera a year ago. jihadist materials were found in his possession about, and enough bomb-making materials we're fold for two bombs. he was already to go according to one counterterrorism source. >> we would probably be here today giving you a different briefing had he not been stopped. he's a very dangerous individual. and he's where he needs to be. >> abdo also visited abarmy surplus store where he tried to buy a uniform with local fort hood patches on it. police say that he was going to target military personnel. bret? >> bret: jennifer, on a separate issue, i understand the treasury department announced sanctions today against several individuals in iran, accused of aiding al-qaeda. >> that's right. the treasury sanctioned six
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members of an al-qaeda network based in iran, and headed by a syrian who leaces with the iranian government. this network serves as the core pipeline through which al-qaeda moves money, facilitators and operatives across the middle east. the unusual public criticism from the administration comes on the heels of much public criticism by military commanders accusing iran of supplying weapons to shiah groups in iraq, as well as in afghanistan. >> pretty significant. jennifer live at the pentagon, thank you. a libyan opposition official in britain says any proposal aimed at allowing muammar qaddafi to day this libya after stepping down is unworkable. hundreds of libyan rebels have launched an offensive against government forces in the west. a rebel spokesman says she seized two towns and advanced on others.
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and late today we learned the head of the libyan rebels armed forces and two of his aides were killed by gunmen, according to a rebel official. back here at home, the obama administration has been negotiating with environmentalists and automakers on an enormous increase in fuel efficiency standards. the president plans to make an announcement friday. chief washington correspondent jim angle reports on the negotiations that have led to it. >> president obama was hoping to get automakers to agree to almost double mileage standards, aiming for another moment like this one in the rose garden in 2009 which raised them to 29.7 miles for model year 2012, but this time the white house wanted much more. >> floating ideas to increase this fuel efficiency standard to 56 miles per gallon fleetwide by the year 2025, which would be a significant ramp-up. >> supporters inned that was a doable number. >> 56 is a sweet spot that is both achievable, reasonable, highly beneficial in terms of an economic standpoint, and will
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meet the president's goals of dramatically reducing our dependence on foreign oil. >> but automakers bached, noting a federal agency predicted that would result in a 14% drop in sales, saying "there is a high level of uncertainty about consumer willingness to pay significantly higher prices for more fuel-efficient vehicles. >> these standards, by the government's own study, will cost so much more that it will result in a loss of about 220,000 jobs. >> the automakers have been working on a compromise, and to press the case launched a seven-state radio ad campaign on the jobs issue. >> a sales drop means job losses, and not just with automakers, but at hundreds of auto parts suppliers, dealerships and repair facilities across the country. >> supporters argue consumers will want the more expensive hybrids because they'd save money in fuel costs. >> if you force the market to implement certain technologies, they will figure out a way how to do it. they'll figure out a way how to
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do it officially and effectively. >> consumers have shown little interest so far. the 30 hybrids now on the market only account for 2.4% of sales, even with expensive gasoline. last year, ford sold twice as many pickups as all the hybrids put together. >> even though the government wants them to buy it, doesn't matter. the consumer choice is what matters. >> critics say the new standards are like dealing with obesity by forcing clothing manufacturers to sell only small sizes, but after lengthy negotiations the administration trimmed the target by a couple of miles a gallon, and is offering lots of other sweeteners to get automakers to sign on. in washington, jim angle, fox news. >> $1 in every $5 spent in this country in the year 2020 will go toward healthcare. that is the prediction in a new report by government number crunchers. they say the country will spend $4.6 trillion on healthcare at the end of the did not. that breaks down to almost $14,000 per person. we're spending about $8700 per
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person this year. still ahead, we'll go back live to capitol hill for an update from mike emanuel, but first we'll get the latest as you look at the capitol rotunda on the economic ramifications of the debt limit standoff. woman: saving for our child's college fund was getting expensive. man: yes it was. so to save some money, we taught our 5 year old how to dunk. woman: scholarship! woman: honey go get him. anncr: there's an easier way to save. get online. go to geico.com. get a quote. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.
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>> you're looking live inside the u.s. capitol, house members, house republicans, have delayed a vote on a bill to sten the debt limit and cut government spending. what you're looking at here is the will rogers statue, the hallway in front of the house chamber in front of the leadership offices. just a few moments ago some members came out. they had just been in the leadership offices. tried to get comment from them. they said it was a private conversation. the bottom line, republican leaders are looking for more votes on speaker boehner's bill.
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a vote is still expected tonight. we're following every moment as we look at will rogers' statue there. let's look at how the debt ceiling uncertainty is affecting the markets. fox business network correspondent rich edson joins us from capitol hill. >> the debt ceiling fight continues to weigh on markets as investors are on hold until washington can this figure this out. so much that top executives from wall street this afternoon sent a letter to president obama and folks on capitol hill urging them to work out a compromise to raise the debt ceiling. in that letter, they write a default on our nation's obligations or a downgrade of america's credit rating would be a tremendous blow to investor confidence, raising rates for everyone that borrows, undermining the value of the dollar, and dramatically worsening our nation's already difficult economic circumstances. ratings agencies say that plans that fall short of curbing and reining in government deficits
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could cause the u.s. to lead hits aaa rating. that led to this afternoon standard & poor's saying saving of $4 trillion over the next four years would be a good downpayment. neither bill on capitol hill meets that criteria or guarantees the criteria of $4 trillion in savings over the next 10 years. also moody's investors, another ratings agency, said dozens of municipal, county and government bonds, other government agencies, could be possible on downgrade watch, because they're tied to the u.s. downgrade. so if the u.s. is downgraded, which isn't certain, they too could be downgraded. bret? >> bret: rich, a lot of people have debt ceiling-itis with this story already as it stands -- continues to go on. the next budget fight is not far off, is it? >> no, it's not. it's deficit-related and spending-related. the budget we got a few months ago expires at the end of september, starting the next year.
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back to you, bret. >> bret: another standoff. rich, thank you. the administration has said that millions of people may not get government checks if the debt ceiling is not extended by next tuesday. correspondent shannon bream tells us who those people are. >> you've heard the administration's warnings about just how many people depend on government programs and payouts. >> just remember, this is the united states of america. we write 80 million checks a month. there are millions and millions of americans that depend on those checks coming on time. >> and that's just at the treasury department. the overall number of government checks and electronic payments issued each month is actually much higher. nearly 212 million. >> they include the bills to contractors, small businesses, big businesses, that do work with the government, the people who manufacture the ammunition that we send to our troops. in afghanistan. >> and that's not all. take a look at the government checks and electronic payments that went out in the month of june. medicare claims are at the top
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of the list. they accounted for 100 million checks, 70 million of those to doctors, the rest to other providers, like hospitals and labs. second on the list, the category that you're hearing most about, more than 56 million social security payments were made in june. also in the top five, more than 6 million checks and payments to active duty and retired defense personnel. there's worry that the sheer number of payments going out have dulled lawmakers and agencies in washington to the reality of exactly what the government is spending. >> i don't believe that there really is a realization that this is really real money. one of the basic prerequisites of the government is a payment from the government. there isn't a stop payment capability. it's not like a commercial check that can be stopped. >> that means a government-issued check is as good as cash. if you go to your bank, say, with your tax refund, they've got to give you cash, even if they have doubts about whether the government would be able to
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reimburse them in return. so if you averaged out all these checks across the current u.s. population, it would mean roughly 70% of americans are getting some kind of government payment. but we do know that many individuals actually get multiple checks. bret? >> bret: shannon, thank you. as you look live outside the capitol, it looks peaceful and calm. inside people are scurrying about. we've just got word from the house majority leader's office that there will be a vote on speaker boehner's bill tonight. we've also gotten word that a handful of conservative members are right now going to pray in the members' chapel. they've been asked if they're voting yes. they said no. there's still nos, but they're joining in prayer with others. stay with us.
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a lot of insiders will say they think they may be very close, or maybe indeed have the votes, but it may be too close for comfort. so what you have right now is dotting their is and crossing their ts to make sure they have the 216 votes they need to pass the boehner plan. certainly they don't be embarrassed by bringing up the speaker's plan and have it fail in the house of representatives. bret? roig our producer up there, we've seen him in the live shots we've taken of some of the hallways, chasing down these members coming out of offices, essentially being whipped. that means being arm-twisted to say you need to vote for this. this is the best deal that republicans can take. >> yeah. sounds like there's two different operations going on. one at the speaker's ceremonial office, the other at majority leader's cantor's office. one said, i'm still a bloody and beaten no. a congressman from texas saying, he was charging his phone in
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there when he was getting his talking-to. >> bret: we know there aren't other plugs. is the senate waiting for speaker boehner's bill? >> we understand there are private conversations going on about possible compromise. based on what happens in the house, if this bill fails, or if harry reid tries to kill it in the senate. so there are conversations going on, but definitely walleyes on the house at this point. roig and all eyes are continuing there. michael, head back for breaking details. thank you. it has been a heated day of rhetoric back and forth. >> it keeps killing the measures that we send over and threatening to do the same with the one that we will send over today. now, harry reid can't have it both ways. the fact is the president has asked us to compromise. we've compromised. >> it will be defeated. they know that. the american people now should understand that clearly. no democratic will free-throw a short-term band -- will vote for
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a short term band-aid approach and put the nation in a tenable situation we're in today just a few short months from now. >> just moments ago a senior advisory to speaker boehner said, "we're still trying to corral votes. lots of tough sledding ahead. there will be a vote tonight." let's bring in our panel. steve hayes and charles krauthammer. steve, your accounting hat on. what do you think? two 16? >> yeah. when i was making phone calls about two hours ago, it was two votes short. 35 minutes ago, just before i walked out here, came on set, two votes short three minutes ago. i think they're two votes short. i think the fact they're bringing in somebody like a louie gomer, hard-core
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conservative, unlikely to change his mind suggests they're suggesting to everybody who's a no, potential persuadable no to get these two votes. >> what's the pitch that speaker boehner is making to these tea party conservatives, to conservatives who have a real problem with this bill? >> well, first of all, the vote is not being delayed until tomorrow because the speaker feels it won't bow get better tomorrow. this is a now or never moment. the pitch he's making is, if we provide a bill to extend the debt ceiling, that deeply cuts spending and provides for steps to also cut entitlements, we're going to have sent -- we've made two efforts -- the house will have made two efforts to -- >> cut, cap and balance. >> this would be the second one. if this vote goes down, he's telling them, we won't have the leverage we need for any final compromise. he continues to tell them, i have no idea what's going to happen in the next three or four days. none of us know. we have to do our part to divert
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default. we have to do what we have to do for the country, on our own terms. goes down, it's out of our hands. the last 24 hours is whencñk@ really says, i need you. this is what whipping is. i need an army, were his words. difficult group of people. they even brought former senator phil graham in in person teed personally whip the texas delegation, holdout members, whipping hard for this bill, saying this is an important moment to be a team or to blow up. >> bret: difficult for the speaker, but if you're on the conservative side who want to block this -- >> they're actually being told by members of the whip team, if this bill goes down, this will be remembered. this is a career make or break moment for you. if this bill goes down, it's not going do be good for you. >> we're looking at the will rogers statue, the hallway in
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front of the house chamber, also in front of the house leadership offices. occasionally you catch people going back and forth after these whipping sessions. what are your thoughts? >> the argument a.b. laid out being made about is obvious one. on friday, the president lost the initiative. he overstepped, overreached, the republicans walked out. it looked as if they were on the defensive. in fact by the end of the weekend, the president was so desperate, he was dealt out. it all lit up in congress. he had to give a speech that nobody in washington even understands what was in it and why he gave it. it's all in the congress now. the republicans have the upper hand. if this would pass, it gives them the marker. the reid bill won't pass even the senate. there would be a live piece of legislation. there's no presidential plan. there will not be a senate plan. there will be a house plan. that's what you can lean on.
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i think if they can't get the last two votes, they can appeal to five no votes and say, look, you can honorably abstain. you wouldn't be supporting something that you say that you can't, but the future o of the party and the fate of this debt issue is in your hands, because if we don't succeed we lose all our leverage and we will end up worse off. >> bret: coming up, we'll talk about the democrats' strategy, the white house strategy, as well as what the s&p said today about the credit/debt situation for the u.s., whether it gets downgraded anyway. as you look live inside cannon rotunda, those crews need to stand up. there's a lot happening. stay here. [ jon ] we don't just come up here for the view up in alaska.
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roig looking live outside the capitol, that's the house chamber outside the capitol. gorgeous night in d.c. it's a stressful night inside that building as house speaker boehner's bill is up for vote tonight. we're confirming from the house majority leader's office that there will in fact be a vote, but the big question is what's next? we're back with the panel. a.b., what is next? let's just say this thing squeaks through, they get these two extra votes. for folks sitting on the couch, without getting too far into the weeds, what is next? >> well, the senate majority leader, the senate is controlled by democrats, and the leader has his own plan, which republicans say they will vote against, but the senate majority leader wanted to prove tonight, that the house, won't fly in the senate, won't be signed into the law. he said this afternoon he would hold a vote immediately on the boehner bill, and it would go down. at that point we're not sure what is going to happen.
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we know that privately there are ongoing discussions that are bipartisan about some kind of compromise, a way -- a path forward that would merge parts of the boehner and reid plans. one is for a longer-term debt extension, you know, the reid plan takes us into 2013. of course the boehner plan takes us into january probably of 2012. that's a big sticking point. there are things called triggers which would -- you know, if people walked away from these committees, they're supposed to find more savings, without getting too into those details, there are sticking points, but there are ongoing discussions about getting to something before tuesday. those are involved -- some of the members of the gang of six are involved in those discussions. scenario durbin of illinois, senator chambliss, others are involved, and so are the senate minority leader and majority leader. i don't think we'll see -- if we see this projection in the senate tonight -- rejection in
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the senate tonight, i don't think we'll see anymore tonight. hopefully over the weekend they cobble something together. >> this is one of the arguments that john boehner is making right now. this is why this needs to pass. if this doesn't pass we're not in the conversation anymore. we are silent. if this passes, then you can imagine some kind of a compromise along the lines of what a.b. is talking about. it's easy to see. i mean actually i don't think -- i think the compromise is rather easy to see. i mean, the democrats care most about the calendar. so they want this through 2012. republicans care most about the spending cuts. so you can see republicans giving -- our getting some on the spending cuts, going to the boehner side of the compromise, and probably democrats getting something on the calendar side, something that pushes through the election time period. i think that's the most likely kind of a compromise. but it doesn't happen unless this passes. i think these are exactly the arguments that john boehner is making to the holdouts among the conservatives. even people who -- you know, there are a lot of reasons not
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to like the boehner bill. i mean, as we've talked about before, i mean, there are reasons -- it never gets to entitlements. there are all sorts of reasons that people would oppose it, but at this moment, in that capitol, he's not focused on those arguments, and he's trying to get people focused on them to focus on the actual outcome, what happens now. >> bret: the other thing in the boehner bill is a commission responsible for coming up for $1.8 trillion in additional cuts in entitlements, a question mark for a lot of folks on both sides of the aisle. part of the debate has been whether the ratings agencies will downgrade the u.s., the credit rating anyway. today s&p had a conference call, and here's a -- it's a paraphrase really of a quote. question was $4 trillion number has been circulating to stabilize the debt gdp ratio. it comes from boles simpson, embraced by president obama and representative paul ryan. actually $4 trillion won't do the trick to stabilize debt-to-gdp, but would take you
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far along and signal seriousness. imf, international monetary fund, says you need 7.5% of gdp to stabilize. we think it's more than that, $4 trillion would be a good downpayment. charles, what i read from that quote is that we're not even close to $4 trillion on either of the plans currently being debated. >> well, there was a plan that was over that, and that was the ryan plan, which is $6.6 trillion, but that's not in discussion right now. the grand bargain, which was going to hit the number you mentioned is also not on the table now. but i think that's really important here is that it completely undermines the obama argument against the boehner bill. its argument is it's got to be a year and a half, because if it's shorter that will call the rating -- that will cause the rating agencies to lower our rating, because of uncertainty. what you're hearing here is if the ratings are lowered because of what's going on here, it's not because of the shortness of
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the extension. it will be because of the size, because the size is what tells you about the seriousness. and the seriousness that has been demonstrated by the democrats here has been zero. it's resisted all entitlement reform, and in the reid plan it seeks all kinds of loopholes and gimmicks to avoid real debt reductions. so if obama says, i can't support a six-month extension because it will lower our rating, what we're hearing here is the opposite. it's the size and the seriousness that matters. >> bret: getting emails from our producer up on capitol hill. i'll go through them and bring them to you after the break. stay with us.
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>> looking live at the will rogers statue in the u.s.
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capitol as lawmakers file out of the house chamber because we just got word, as you see the slate, that is up, the house is in recess, subject to the call of the chair. that means that republicans have gone to recess to buy more time to round up votes for the boehner debt limit bill unclear when they'll be back at this point. we're being told this vote will happen tonight. now, for some final thoughts from our panel. steve? >> well, i think in the short term regardless of how this turns out, in the short term, this has not made the president look very good. he's been sidelined in this process. numerous stories talked about the president on the sideline. he's looked impotent. it hasn't been a commanding performance. you've seen his poll numbers fall pretty dramatically in the period of just three weeks. in the long term, i think democrats have worked hard to try to get an issue. they wanted to campaign that republican shenanigans on the debt ceiling fight, this manufactured crisis that you heard so much about from the democrats on the house floor
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today was threatening the u.s. economy, and whether or not there's a resolution now, that's going to be an argument that they'll take for the next 17 months to the 2012 election. the key question for republicans at this moment is whether that's a phony argument because the timing doesn't work or whether it becomes a real argument or a more plausible argument in the minds of voters because you see some real market reactions to the kinds of things we're seeing. >> bret: a.b.? >> we don't know yet how it's going to play for the president, how it's going to play for democrats and republicans. what we saw in the last 36 hours was a complete blow-up in'ñw)ñ3e republican party of the old guard establishment coming out on the record and criticizing the holdouts and the purists for holding this up. for tempting default. it really -- i think we don't know yet. i think we know that john boehner has been a grown-up throughout this process if he wins this vote, he finally has a team. he's brought a lot of these fishermen on board with -- these
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freshmen people on board with him, tea party people, and a lot of them are voting for this bill. either way, i think he's won. i don't want to depresses the audience, but i think we'll see a five-day patch or a seven-day patch. i don't think this will end on tuesday. >> bret: it's not just the audience. quickly, go ahead. >> i don't think it's going to come to an end in five days. >> bret: charles? >> one intersection of how important it is that republicans pass the boehner plan is how afraid the white house is of it and how its arguments against it are becoming increasingly desperate. the latest argument that was heard from the press secretary today was that it would wreck christmas, because it's short six months, and that means we're not going to have a good christmas. how brain dead is reactionary liberalism that it cannot come up with anything new? 17 years ago it looks at a new house of representatives, controlled by republicans, and
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all of a sudden, as we see see on the cover of "time" magazine at the time, newt gingrich becomes -- what's his problem? he's uncle scrooge. and the article inside is titled "the gingrich that stole christmas." nothing is new under the sun. the liberals see a republican house actually standing firm against its projects and all of a sudden they aren't just throwing granny in the snow, they want to destroy christmas. >> bret: i want it noted for the record that most conversations are impromptu, and we're flowing. charles, he had this thing with "time" magazine, and wanted to get it in tonight. >> i carry it with me in my wallet. >> bret: 10 seconds each, does it get done tonight? >> yes. >> i think so, too. >> sure. >> bret: wow, confidence from steve hayes. that's it for the panel. stay tuned to see a rare moment of agreement on capitol hill.
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>> bret: finally tonight, as we continue to follow the debt ceiling showdown on capitol hill. the seemingly constant gridlock at every turn, it seems like they can't agree on anything. well, one late night show proves that's not always true. >> take a look. there is nancy pelosi, john boehner. okay. go over there. there is harry reid. mitch mcconnell. freeze it right there. okay? >> harry reid and mitch mcconnell can't agree on a budget? they obviously agree on everything else. look at them. same hair, same glasses, same sports coat. same shirt. [ applause ] >> why can't you agree on this? >> bret: school uniforms. thanks for inviting us into your home tonight. take one last look inside u.s. capitol the flurry tonight. keep you updated here on capitol

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